Vols will wear 'Smokey Grey' jerseys in bowl to honor Gatlinburg victims
KNOXVILLE — Like many people in the Smoky Mountain region, Tennessee offensive lineman Brett Kendrick used to make frequent weekend visits to Gatlinburg.
His family used to have a condo near the popular tourist spot, and the Kendricks often made the one-hour drive from Knoxville to the mountain town.
"I went up there a lot, almost every weekend it seemed like," he said Friday afternoon, before he and four teammates attended their graduation ceremony. "We would always go up there and stay at the condo, go play basketball at the rec center downtown. I was up there a lot, with Dollywood and Splash Country and everything, too."
Gatlinburg recently was ravaged by devastating wildfires that damaged about 2,500 buildings and caused 14 deaths in the area in a tragedy that struck a chord with many East Tennesseans, who have rallied together to provide the affected residents and businesses with supplies and support.